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5 Classic Board Games That Were Violent as Hell

I love me a good board game. Nothing unites a family quicker than sitting around a piece of flat cardboard and moving little pieces from square to square. It’s harmless fun, right? Wrong. Some of these board games, upon further inspection, are darker than you knew. Here are five classic board games you might’ve forgotten are violent as hell.

Clue

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The original! While the basis of Clue is the mystery of whodunnit, the fact remains that it revolves around a straight-up murder. Like, sure, we can laugh about how silly it sounds to say that Colonel Mustard did it in the library with the candlestick, but yo, my dude bludgeoned someone until they died. Why aren’t we looking into the legal ramifications of this? And why is everyone sticking around when there’s a killer on the loose?!

13 Dead End Drive

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Imagine a game like Clue where instead of trying to figure out who amongst you is a killer, you’re actively trying to trap and kill other players in various grisly ways. Not only that, you’re doing so in order to lay claim to a dead old lady’s fortune, so you’re teaching little Bobby both murder AND ravenous greed. It’s a double whammy of sociopathy!

Mouse Trap

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Keeping up the theme of traps, Mouse Trap was a classic game in which players went to great lengths to kill a household pest. And as satisfying as it would be to have a full-sized Rube Goldberg machine in my house, I don’t need to savor the death of a poor little animal.

Forbidden Bridge

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Stealing treasure is never a good idea, because ancient vengeful gods are almost always murder-inclined. Such is the case with Forbidden Bridge, a game in which said vengeful god can shake the bridge upon which your explorer stands, sending him to a watery grave. I like to think of it as a terrifying morality tale, used to scare kids into respecting other people’s property. Or, more likely, the early ‘90s was a time when we really liked projecting death onto tiny little plastic pieces.

Grape Escape

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If y’all don’t remember this one, Grape Escape was basically a board game with FATALITIES. Whereas games like 13 Dead End Drive and Forbidden Bridge had plastic pieces harmlessly and unsatisfyingly toppling over, in Grape Escape, you made your own smushy little avatar out of clay. But if your luck runs out, your piece would be stomped on, rolled flat or legit CUT IN HALF with scissors. It’s easily the most fun kids could have with simulated bisection.

How satisfying is it to pretend to murder your friends and family at the dinner table? Let me know on Twitter!

Contributor: 
Tyler Davidson
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